Temple Denial

Temple Denial

September 2, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

The phenomenon of ‘Temple Denial’ is a campaign led by Palestinian political leaders, religious figures, academics and journalists to delegitimise the Jewish historical connection with the area of Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem – which according to Jewish tradition is Judaism’s most holy sites.

It also attempts to increase the importance of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and even the Western Wall in Islam as part of the effort to make Jerusalem a Muslim city under Arab governance – and to deny the need for any Palestinian compromise on Jerusalem with Jewish religious and national rights. This trend even includes the removal of archaeological material from the Temple Mount without archaeological supervision (see blog post by Allon Lee).

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Speaking truth to anti-Israel stupidity

Speaking truth to anti-Israel stupidity

September 2, 2011 | Allon Lee

Clearly piqued by the incessant anti-Israel bigotry, Dr. Denis MacEoin, a former lecturer in Islamic studies, has come out in a passionate defence of the Jewish state in a letter to the Edinburgh University Student’s Association committee and separately to the leader of the British Greens party over their support for BDS.

First up, MacEoin, who is not Jewish, expressed his outrage that his alma mater had passed a motion to boycott Israeli goods, services and people on the grounds that Israel is an apartheid regime.

He makes the case that Israel is not a perfect state but to compare it to Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa is not true “even as a metaphor”.

 

Media Week – Doug’s Diatribe; This is a Moderate?; Durban Planning

September 2, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

On the ABC TV panel show, “Q & A” (22/8), the conversation turned from Israel, to whether an Islamic country could achieve sufficient separation of church and state to become a true democracy. When the question was put to Labor Senator Doug Cameron, he replied, “Look, I think the issue of Israel and Palestine is huge in terms of trying to get world peace. I think Israel have had a massive amount of support from the world community over the years to establish the Israeli state but with that, I think, comes responsibility. And I don’t think it’s a beacon of democracy to have Operation Cast Lead. I don’t think it is a beacon of democracy to use phosphorous bombs on kids. I don’t think it is a beacon of democracy to be demolishing infrastructure in Palestine. So I just think we’ve got to get a bit of balance in this.” It appears Cameron was so eager to attack Israel, he didn’t care that it was irrelevant to the question.

Libya: The Rebels and their Prospects

Libya: The Rebels and their Prospects

September 2, 2011

This Update deals further with aftermath of the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, and particularly the prospects for the rebel “Transitional National Council” (TNC) to effectively rule the country and establish the “pluralist democracy” they claim is their aim. 

First up is former Middle East academic expert turned policy adviser Dr. Walid Phares, who makes a number of predictions; first that regardless of their policies, the new TNC rulers of Libya will face a lingering insurgency from pro-Gaddafi forces. But more importantly, he takes issue with the claim often heard that “we don’t know the rebels”, saying that we do know a lot about them, and while they are a mixed bag, the Islamist forces are the strongest and largest organised militia. He argues that they therefore pose a considerable threat of an Islamist takeover if liberal forces are not supported.

US Congress standing up to Palestinian UN bid

US Congress standing up to Palestinian UN bid

September 1, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Haaretz has reported on a new bill being introduced into US Congress which would see US funding for the UN substantially reduced if the Palestinian UN statehood bid wins the upcoming vote.

A republican congresswoman introduced a bill on Tuesday, along with 57 co-sponsors, asking Congress to block U.S. funds for any United Nations entity that supports giving Palestine an elevated status at the UN.

The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is also seeking to ban U.S. contributions to the UN Human Rights Council and an anti-racism conference seen as a platform for anti-Israel rhetoric…

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The blind spot empowering Palestinian rejectionism

The blind spot empowering Palestinian rejectionism

September 1, 2011 | Allon Lee

In a hard-hitting analysis that raises some important reasons why the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has not been resolved, columnist David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen notes:

The Palestinians, so far as they are a people, have now a long history of being able to do things without consequences.

He compares this with how the world treats Israeli actions that are demonstrably undertaken in the cause of self-defence…

 

Is Iran abandoning Assad?

Is Iran abandoning Assad?

September 1, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

Is Iran starting to pull back from Syria’s Assad regime, its closest ally, as the unrest and bloodshed in Syria continues?

Ostensibly, there are some signs that Teheran is, at least verbally, starting to create a bit of distance from Damascus.

Firstly, Iran’s Foreign Minister publicly suggested Syria should meet the “legitimate demands” of the protestors. Then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on television that “the [Syrian] people should have the right to elect and get their freedoms”

 

Rocket Attacks

Rocket Attacks, Hamas and Israeli Deterrence

August 31, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

Rockets continue to be fired at Israel from Gaza, despite yet another ceasefire being called…

AIJAC recommends a new twitter feed – QassamCount – which provides realtime info on all of the rocket attacks, including where they hit and any damage done.

Most commentators seem to think that Gaza’s Hamas rulers want a ceasefire and they certainly keep calling them… So why do rockets keep falling?

Prof. Efraim Inbar on Palestinian statehood

August 30, 2011

AIJAC guest Professor Efraim Inbar from Bar-Ilan University is in today’s Australian on the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.

He notes:

Unfortunately, General Assembly resolutions cannot fix a Palestinian national movement that is hopelessly fractured and dysfunctional.

The UN cannot turn the Palestinian factions into one political entity. Can the UN bring Gaza and the West Bank together to present reasonable interlocutors for Israeli negotiators? Can it mellow Hamas’s lust to kill Jews and to eradicate Israel? Can it eradicate the “shaheed” death culture?

Is the UN in a position to infuse pragmatism into Palestinian political culture?

The Debate over Re-militarising the Sinai

The Debate over Re-militarising the Sinai

August 30, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Following the recent outbreak of terror attacks on the porous border between Egypt, Israel and Gaza, debate in Israel has been focussed on how best to prevent this violence from reoccurring. Egypt has been engaged in similar considerations, deploying 1,500 troops in the Sinai yesterday, supposedly to prevent a terror attack by Islamic Jihad that intelligence had warned of. Furthermore, according to MEMRI, reports surfaced last night that the Egyptian Government was considering implementing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in a bid to crack down on the weapons smuggling that has become rife over the last few months; although these reports were swiftly denied. The Economist gave a good summary this week of the position that Israel finds itself in:

Israel faces a dilemma with far-reaching strategic consequences. Thirty years of peace with Egypt have rested, above all, on a demilitarised Sinai. The peninsula is patrolled by an international force and monitored by America from the air, to ensure that both sides keep their armies out, even though Sinai is sovereign Egyptian soil. Until now, Israel had said no to Egyptian demands to let more troops on to the peninsula…

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